Monday, November 14, 2011

I'm Resigning Today


Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

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    For the first time in a long time, I considered quitting.

    Resigning at the next board meeting.

    Running away.

    I got into this to point people to Jesus so they wouldn't have to worry about going to hell and enable 'em to stop bringing so much hell into the...

    I got into this, proverbially, "to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable" as personified in Jesus and prescribed in Holy Scripture.

    I did not get into this for...

    Well, you know what I mean; and if you don't, no amount of explaining will...
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    I like to arrive early for Matthew's basketball games.

    It's fun to watch warm-ups and try to figure out who should...

    An unsettling apocalyptic moment occurred just before a game last week.

    As I was about to scale the steps to my favorite spot at the top of the bleachers, one of my favorite 8th graders exploded, "Pastor Bob, I had a dream about you."

    "Really?" I asked.

    "Really," she said, "that you died."

    Beginning my ascent, I noted, "Yes, I will."

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    My wife thinks I have a death wish because I talk so much about death.

    People think I have a death wish because I don't wear a helmet while riding my mule.

    Geez.

    I talk about death so much because I do so many funerals and, ergo, thoughts of my own mortality to this life are impossible to escape.

    I don't wear a helmet because I'm rebellious by nature and Libertarian by politics; along with other reasons that you can read about when I Just Wanna Ride comes out.

    Truly, except for wanting a bestseller before I die and customizing Return 2 (in mind not barn) at Woodstock HD for a trip around the perimeter of the states to research "What It Means to be Faithful in a Country that Doesn't Give a Damn About God Anymore" and witnessing fulfilled dreams for my immediate family and family of faith at First Presbyterian Church, I'm very Pauline about death if you know what I mean.

    But you know that stuff about dreams/visions in the Bible.

    My young friend got me to thinking about...

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    I believe in heaven through faith in Jesus.

    I believe it is the pure and perfect place of personal peace where there is no more pain or crying or tears or...

    I believe Jesus: "You will be with Me in paradise."

    What's not to like about that?

    Sounds a lot better than living in central Pennsylvania right now.

    So, yeah, I'd rather be with Jesus than anyone/anywhere/anytime else.

    Uh, that's what it's/He's all about.

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    But, sometimes, I feel like cashing in ahead of schedule.

    It's so hard as well as illogical trying to be rational with the irrational, irascible, irreconcilable, and...

    More to most of my time is exponentially spent with people bringing everything but heaven into...

    Everywhere I go.

    World.

    Country

    Franchise (aka denomination).

    Sports.

    Even...

    You name it.

    No escape.

    Peterson: "God, let me withdraw for a while now from the chatter and gossip of the world, and let Your words sink deeply into my mind and spirit.  In the quietness of these moments help me to realize the eternal significance of the birth of Jesus, in whose name I pray.  Amen."

    Sigh.

    I want to resign.

    I want to quit.

    I want to run away.

    I want to be with Jesus.

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    I can't.

    I've often been asked - indeed, I was first asked this while being examined on the floor of Pennsylvania's Lackawanna Presbytery back in 1976 - if I could/can see myself being/doing anything other than being an undershepherd.

    No.

    Yeah, I wouldn't have minded being called to pitch for the Yankees or beat Tiger to Jack's records or work at Woodstock HD.

    But, no, I can't see myself as anything other than an undershepherd.

    It's my Beruf.

    No escape.

    Matthew 10.

    John 10.

    I've always wanted to be just like Jesus for Jesus; except for, you know, the crucifixion part.

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    Karry, an elder and biker buddy, and I have joked about not cutting/trimming/whatever our facial hair until gossip ceases, attendance improves, people stop hoarding what He's entrusted to them to manage for Him, and other stuff that sparks temptations to resign, quit, run away, or...

    Bad idea; and not just 'cause it'd look like we'd gone over to the AGers or SBers.

    If we do it, we'll end up looking like ZZ Top.

    Maybe not.

    Nazirites come to mind.

    Not literally if you know what I mean; and if you don't, look 'em up.

    Uncut/unkempt hair to symbolize grief and mourning and...

    An irritant (salt) to those who are...

    Hey, Karry, maybe we should...

    I wonder if others would join the...

    Gotta pray on that one.

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    A street preacher in Belvidere came into my study after last Sunday's first service.

    He plopped his well-worn Bible down on my desk and demanded that I read Psalm 118:17.

    I did in several translations/paraphrases.

    He rebuked me for even thinking of resigning, quitting, running away, or...

    He yelled at me.

    He cried with me.

    He hugged me.

    He prayed with me.

    I didn't/haven't resigned, quit, run away, or...

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    Yes, I will die.

    Not yet.

    Maybe later than the dream implied to the chagrin of...

    Maybe sooner than a few would prefer.

    Of course, the world/country/franchise/church and so on are killing me.

    Yes, Gerry, you're right!  I do care...deeply.  Now I know why you cry so much.  You care...deeply...like Jesus did/does.

    We know what it's like to have a broken heart: "When He looked over the crowds, His heart broke."

    We're dying for...

    We know only He mends hearts.

    So, in the meantime that can be so mean at times, we're gonna get as close as we can to Jesus so we don't resign, quit, run away, or...

    We're gonna give 'em the Gospel.

    We're gonna call 'em to confession and repentance in thanks and praise for the Gospel.

    We're gonna live for Him...and we will die in the...

    Matthew 16:24-28.

    I'm resigning myself to this/Him.

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Blessings and Love!

3 comments:

Pastor Dennis said...

Amen! Amen!

David said...

Dear Dr. Bob,
It is funny how god works in our lives, or in most cases isnt allowed to work in our lives. So many, and me included want to do all the work....Well today is my day to resign, and i thought how appropriate to get a message of Resigning from you. I admire and look up to how your living your life devoted to God...MY resignation is to me... how i have tried to do it my way, to do it through me and not through him. I am so excited to turn my life to him....to let him be my boss. I love the thought of firing myself from me. I believe i have brought about all my pain and suffering due to my decisions, my ego. my desires. my blind spots.....Now i serve him. i cross over...from my life to his life. I feel so excited to resign from this place, my steps, my walk, and look forward to walking with him, and asking what he wants from me and for me....
Thanks so much for your leadership., and God bless.....
with love and peace....

Surrendering and Resigning.....
David

Dr. Robert R. Kopp said...

Praise the Lord, brother!